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Everything posted by Cerise

  1. Save your breath good folks - it's an advert!
  2. That is fantastic - will you change yoru name to SkinnyBanana? Well done anyway!
  3. Is its title M ou Mme Or M et Mme? If it is OU then you can carry on using it until things are sorted. If it is ET then it will be frozen until the estate is sorted out - but the bank will be the best people to advise you.
  4. Favourites - from an American guest 'A 14th century bridge? Gee, we didn't even HAVE a 14th century" and How recently did they build that medieval castle? And from an English guest (true) Oh, I'm surprised you take French.
  5. Just please go and talk to a notaire. Notaires do not charge for that kind of advice. They charge if they need to make any official kind of act to put the advice in place. Tell the notaire your position and what you want to achieve. The notaire will tell you what options there are and how much each option will cost. You can then make an informed decision. This kind of thing is important to get right. If your French is not good either pay a translator or find an English speaking notaire.
  6. Frenchie - I didn't mean to be insulting, but I live in La France Profonde and sadly locally much of society DOES still condone domestic violence _ or at least not speak out against it. Of course it is a problemin the UK too and I don't think anyone would deny it but I do think we have a cultural difference now (it was different 40 or 50 years ago) which makes it easier for women to get out. One of the reasons cited for wanting to live in france is that it is like the Uk 50 years ago - well as member of local CCAS I can confirm that there some very dated attitudes to things like domestic problems, handicaps etc. I have a local friend who has a handicapped son and though she is lovely, intelligent person people still make stupid remarks about it must be something she 'did' to have this son. Of course, there are lots of nice, kind, enlightened people too. For the majority of foreigners the fact that the rural French don't easily discuss problems with anyone outside their own families means that much of this is hidden.
  7. I don't think that is what Pat is saying at all. In a society which still thinks it is Ok to beat your wife and ill-educated, unhappy person may do it - it doesn't excuse it, but may explain it. Same thing with drugs really. There is a huge and I mean huge problem of drug taking among French farmers who haven't got wives (possibly because younger women are bright enough to realise that a life of being a drudge and possibly beaten is not that attractive!). Now you could say no-one forced these lonely chaps to be farmers but the traditional inheritance thing makes it very difficult for them to do anything else or get out whil Maman et Papa are still alive. We come from a different culture. What Pat is saying is that while there is not an excuse they may see this as a reason.
  8. Sadly sweet17 this is an all too common part of rural life here. What upsets me almost as much, is the fact that the others, friends neighbours etc don't even seem to find it shocking. There is still the attitude 'She probably asked for it....'.
  9. All the shops in our village here in France were open on Christmas morning. So I guess the answer to your question is 'the French'
  10. All the rouelle I have ever seen has been pork but not gammon. Even trying to explain to the charcutier what gammon is has not yielded the correct thing. For all that you can buy jambon braisé in restaurants so such a thing must exist. The nearest I managed is porc saumuré _ anyone got better ideas?
  11. Given that the thought is that this is a problem of British society, how then do you account for the huge toll of depression in France see here for a few statistics  http://www.etat-depressif.com/depression/histoire/france.htm    I find the fact that so many people here are treated for depression (yet to meet a French woman who hasn't taken anti depressants at some time in her life), yet supposedly they care less for all these material trimmings. Depression is a real illness, but I doubt what the media is talking about is real depression - just a bit of miserable jealousy.  People in Uk say easily 'I'm depressed', when they aren't.  Envy is an unattractive emotion but of course it exists.  Real depression has nothing to do with envy.
  12. My thoughts exactly cooperlola[:)]
  13. Yes - but give them a call as they may have 'permanences' in certain places on certain days.  Or ask at the Mairie, they normally know.
  14. Norman - even those whose French is good normally can need help when they are very ill. However good your second language is, it is comforting to speak in your mother tongue and even if your own French is good that your family and friends may not be. Sadly, I had a friend who died from cancer aged only 53 in 2008. CSF made her last months so much more bearable and offered great support to her husband and friends. I for one would recommend them and can't thank them enough for the help they provided.
  15. Thank you velcorin.  I too am ashamed of the people who talk about children like this.  I'm on the CCAS in our village and god knows I see enough misery here but this, as the OP said, is really heart wrenching.  Little boys of 10 and 12 should not be left under bridges like piles of rubbish whatever their nationality or origins.  That the French authorities allow this sickens me.
  16. Absolutely Sue.  The whole point is that these are not adult asylum seekers they are CHILDREN.  Their own families may have abused them by trafficking them in this dreadful way - or may have been genuinely duped into thinking they were sending their children to some safer, better life.  It seems wrong that the French authorities also ignore their plight  Children do not choose this life - the rights and wrongs of the adults who exploit them are a bit irrelevant.  We as adults of whatever nationality surely have a duty to protect ALL children.
  17. Suein56 - I agree with your post.  That children live like this in the country I live in saddens me enormously (and before anyone starts it saddened me in UK too).  I don't know what the rest of this lot are on, but there is no comparison between living in a slightly chilly house and wearing second hand clothes with being trafficked across the world and left to live in the streets of a foreign land.  It does not matter where these children come from, ALL children should be protected and it is indeed a sad state of affairs that the authorities are aware of the situation and do little if nothing to help.
  18. Clair is right you should contact your 'mutuelle' for advice, a list of dentists and perhaps get other devis.  Dentistry seems to be pretty expensive everywhere, but if the mutuelle told you their cover was 'correct' I think they are the first port of call to discuss.
  19. Aged 14 (1968) my father put me on the boat train in London and I travelled alone to Newhaven, then on the ferry to Dieppe to meet my correspondante who I knew only from some schoolgirl letters and some poor black and white photos of her family.  Her dad was boss of the local woodyard, her mum a housewife and they had 3 other children.  There was no inside loo in their farmhouse and I had to share a bed with Martine and her sister Edith. The house, the room - and the bed - were enormous and really old and I was a bit horrified by the chamber pot.  It was like going back to Victorian times but I LOVED it.   No-one spoke a word of English and I had to speak French or not communicate.  The only thing I hated was when her granny asked me to chose one of the exotic chickens in her grden - and when I did she killed it for our dinner!  They ate all kinds of things I'd never seen, allowed us to drink wine with water and they all smoked like chimneys.  I was a thoroughly modern miss with mini-skirts and Martine had to go to school wearing a brown overall and grey ankle socks. When I went home I told my parents what a wonderful time I'd had.  I edited out a few bits like there being no proper bathroom as I feared they might not let me go again.  Martine and her friend Evelyn came to stay with my family and we exchanged several more times.  We continued to correspond until well into our 30s when sadly we lost touch.  My love of France was born there (my parents had never been abroad) and at 18 I was living in Paris as an au-pair for the family of a professor from the Sorbonne.  I look back on that time as a marvellous adventure. Perhaps today's children who go on exotic holidays practically from birth would simply not relish the sense of adventure and being grown up that that experience gave me.  I'm glad I was able to do it.
  20. We always eat with ours in the evening and have system where we both do part of the work and OH clears up while I have coffee with them.  Don't find it more stressful than any other dinner party, although sometimes I wish they'd be happy with just one dish!  By the end of the season I never wish to see a fancy dessert or a plate of cheese again. However, I could NOT have breakfast with them - that would drive me mad.  I'm an early riser and I'd be starving to death by the time most of them came down.  Breakfast on my own then walk the dog before the day starts - gives me a bit of peace and sanity.
  21. NormanH - I believe things can be sorted with 'les impots' by sending them a  tray of chocolate eclairs every so often.
  22. Bob T - if you are not a dog owner you may not understand, but most dog owners would no more get rid of their dogs than a member of their family.  Maybe they are the only thing she has left and as alleycat says a little bit of dog food won't make an impression in the scheme of things.
  23. Difficult for me to say yet as we're open all year and season not yet over, but I estimate we'll be about 25% down for the B & B - also 6th season.  Most of our bookings were regulars plus new French plus this year Spanish (maybe they're staying nearer to home too).  Very few new English customers.  Less French customers staying a week or more and  many more French customers taking short breaks.  Other B & Bs in area report same or worse and most gites seem down too - except for smaller cheaper gites catering for couples.  Campsites locally are doing well!  Restaurants have suffered badly and one well known one locally said re thought takings would be down about 40%.  Most worrying sign of the times to me was that I've twice in recent weeks been to Toulouse and been able to get to eat in Marché Victor Hugo at lunchtime without booking or queueing, plus been able to get parking in Cordes-sur-Ciel on a Saturday morning - previously unheard of. At local functions we have noticed more people bringing picnics and local fête meals have had much less numbers booked.  I guess it will pick up again as I get the impression that it is more about fear of having no money than an actual lack of cash.  
  24. Good luck alleycat - I've sent you a bit more info by PM. 
  25. Get your friend to make appointment with the assistante sociale (via the mairie) and to start a process of "surendettement" with the Banque de France.  This is like voluntary insolvency and though there is a lot of paperwork to complete will help her to have a clean slate and start again.   As soon as the process is underway harrassment from bailiffs etc will stop.  The assistante sociale will also help her with whatever financial help she can have and arrange for her to have food from one of the social agencies - Croix Rouge, Restos du Coeur - there is help available.   Her commune will also have a CCAS (social action committee) which may be able to give her a liitle immediate financial aid.  She may be reluctant to ask for help so perhaps you could arrange to go to the mairie with her - stress that it is urgent and make the appointment as soon as possible.  Running away is not the answer. Good luck with helping her.
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